Headaches are occasional symptoms in most circumstances. But for some people, their headaches are recurrent and long lasting which pose threat to their bodies and minds, and interfere with their home, work or school life. Headaches are commonly seen in primary forms such as tension headache and migraine, the underlying causes remain unclear, however we do know that they can be triggered by many factors and are related to the physical constitution of an individual.
Regular exercise is an effective way to strengthen the physiques, exercise also promotes the body to release the natural pain killers, and helps reduce stress and tension of the body. Headache sufferers are encouraged to take moderate exercises such as jogging, walking, supreme Ultimate and five Animal play, avoid intense exercises like running or boxing as they are likely to aggravate the pain. Moreover, remember to schedule a regular time for exercise and warm up every time.
This is an elementary qigong practice, which relies on rhythmic and progressive muscle relaxation as well as mental focus to guide the whole body turning into a relaxed and comfortable state. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that the practice promotes the flow of blood and qi, harmonizes the internal organs and strengthens the physical constitution of the body. For those who have sleeping problems or mentally unstable, it can also be a relaxation routine to help them unwind and sleep better.
Preparations: find a comfortable position - standing, sitting or lying down. Raise the tongue against the hard palate, close the eyes slightly, regulate breathing by inhaling slowly and exhaling slowing, and focus the thought at a spot just below your navel.
Relaxing steps:mentally scan the body, notice areas and feel the tension in them, loosen up the areas, let go of as much tension as possible. Follow three routes:
1.Bilateral sides of the head > sides of the neck > shoulders > upper arms > elbows > forearms > wrists > hands > fingers;
2.The face > neck > chest > abdomen > thighs > knees > lower legs > feet > toes;
3.Back of the head > back of the neck > upper back > waist > back of the thighs > back of the knees > back of the lower legs > feet > soles of the feet.
Say "loosen up" to yourself while scanning each of the areas. Also, when you note that the area is painful or very tense, spend longer time on it and say "loosen up" for 20 to 30 times. Finally, let all your body muscles relax completely. Repeat the above steps for three to five cycles.
Understanding you and your body through Qigong, is just one of the many ways Traditional Chinese Medicine is different but complimentary to Western Medicine.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here
Excerpts from the original article in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Shen Nong.